Today’s website of the day is a website that, strictly speaking, is all about Richard Curtis’s favourite suburb of London. But what we’re interested in is the Carnival section.

The Notting Hill Carnival is two days of partying that have become famous the world over. The streets of W11 are sealed off and the area is taken over by carnival floats, parades, Caribbean kitchens and sound systems that vie for the attention of the hundreds of thousands of partygoers who descend upon West London every August Bank Holiday.

Carnival started back in the swinging Sixties and ever since has dominated the summer calendar for everybody living in the area. In recent years, there have been attempts to move the event into Hyde Park as the ever-increasing number of visitors has, in some eyes, threatened to reduce the event to chaos. However, year after year, there seems to be less and less trouble as the community and the authorities come together in what these days seems like a rare show of cooperation and conciliation to ensure that Carnival remains one of the best-attended and best-loved free festivals anywhere in the world. Moving carnival would completely destroy its atmosphere, as there’s nothing quite like dancing the afternoon away in the company of thousands of happy strangers on what on any other weekend would be one of London’s busiest thoroughfares!

That said, surviving Carnival can be an arduous task. There are never enough toilets and knowing where to go to get the best food, the best view of the parades and above all the best tunes can be a daunting task. This site is by far the best source of all information regarding this year’s event, with full details of the floats appearing, the Carnival route and where to find the licensed stalls and sellers.

We particularly like the My Carnival section where Carnival-goers young and old share their memories of past years and look forward to this weekend.

As far as the music goes, a Pocket-Lint favourite is the Good Times Sound System manned by DJ Norman Jay, MBE, and his brother Joey. Seek them out and a great weekend is pretty much guaranteed. form


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